Historic Property Owners

Historic Property Owners

While insuring historic properties may draw a sharp intake of breath from non-specialist providers, there’s a perfectly simple solution to protecting special homes.

If you’ve insured your historic home under a standard direct or internet policy and you need to claim, you could be in for a nasty shock. But putting this right needn’t break the bank – specialist insurers provide excellent rates for historic buildings, in recognition of the care taken by most owners. La Playa works with a panel of specialist underwriters at world class carriers, and our team have the expertise to guide you through the issues of finding suitable historic home insurance:

  • Valuation: you buy a home for $1m – but how much should you insure it for? Standard carriers leave that calculation to you; underestimate and they penalize you by reducing your settlement. Proper valuation is essential – specialist surveyors, architects and carriers can provide advice, taking into account reinstatement costs.
  • Insuring for reinstatement costs: the reinstatement value can be very different from market value – it’s important to determine how much it would cost to rebuild your home using specialist materials and craftsmen to repair/restore any unusual cornicing, historic fireplaces, stonework and other architectural features.
  • Specialist carriers: many insurance companies and surveyors determine the rebuilding cost of a structure by quickly noting the exterior construction. This is not acceptable for a period building. From the outside, it may appear as if it's a certain age, but the inner structure may date back earlier. And special features are frequently hidden inside, often requiring the skills of specialist craftsmen to restore after damage.
  • Repairs and renovation: a non-specialist repair job could affect your home’s market value. Your insurance policy should allow for using craftsmen and authentic materials, and the extra time needed. If you’re undertaking major works to the property, we can help you with insurance for the works, including protection for the existing structure and liability insurance.
  • Extension and alteration: contract conditions may place the onus on you as the employer to insure the works. Make sure your carrier gets a schedule of the works and details of the construction company's liability insurance.
  • Risk Management: good risk management is vital. Historic buildings are particularly susceptible to fire and theft, so have electrical inspections every 5 years and take specialist advice on security installations that won’t compromise the historic integrity of the property. Forced entry often leads to arson.
  • Contents: if your home is furnished with art and antiques, these need special attention from your carrier – you may get a better rate too! The good news is that insurance rates for art and antiques are usually lower than for general contents – because of the care that owners take.
  • Documentation: keep valuations, historical records, insurance and repair paperwork in order, to help with claim resolutions and the repair process.

It’s just not worth taking short cuts with insuring a historic property: it’s a false economy. The issues are more complicated than for modern homes, but a good specialist broker can make the process easy, and the rates are in fact very reasonable.

Download: La Playa Private Client Brochure PDF Document

Period And Listed Buildings Two Columns

“The few claims that I have had to make have been dealt with in a very prompt and professional manner - Thank you!”

Phil B, Private Client


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About La Playa Private Client

Specialist & Independent

La Playa's Personal Risk Concierge service means advice you can trust - from an expert who understands you:

  • Specialist, global policies for affluent lifestyles
  • Independent, expert advice
  • Boutique–style, luxury service
  • “Can do” culture
  • Worldwide capability with offices in New York & London

As an independent broker, we can advise on the best policies available - and on risk management measures including valuations, security, fire prevention and property marking - preserving the value of your property and giving you complete peace of mind. We have access to excellent terms with high net worth insurers including Chubb, Hiscox and Hartford.

What does “Boutique Service” actually mean?

La Playa’s Personal Risk Concierge means:

  1. Careful listening to really understand your needs and priorities
  2. As much help as you need with completing forms to provide risk information
  3. A discreet and complimentary appraisal* of your property to assess the risks and ensure you have the right cover where you need it
  4. An independent market review - so you don’t have to shop around comparing policies, cover limits, risks covered and smallprint exclusions
  5. Careful monitoring of the insurers’ financial strength, claims and customer service
  6. An independent recommendation of the best policy for you - and why
  7. Specialist policy wordings from underwriters who have demonstrated excellence and deep understanding of your risk exposures. We have analyzed a wide range of policy wordings and have selected only the best for our panel. Our advisors have a deep working knowledge of these policies 
  8. An intelligently designed portfolio of protection across multiple asset classes and territories
  9. Advice on how best to manage your risks - to keep you safe but also to keep insurance costs down
  10. A dedicated advisor so you can speak to the same person each time.
  11. Expert guidance on valuations, security and risk management, and connecting you with specialist advisers and suppliers
  12. Direct phone and email access to your adviser for questions and advice. We aim to pick up calls within 3 rings and to respond to emails within 60 minutes
  13. Policy documents emailed to you - no logins and passwords to remember
  14. An advocate beside you if you make a claim - thinking laterally to mitigate the impact, making useful connections to get you back up and running, and driving through a swift financial settlement

Oh, and...

No call centres
No ‘hold’ music
No hidden fees

*subject to availability with our insurer panel

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